Baffled by Brexit? Vail Symposium has a program to help clear up (some of) the confusion |

Baffled by Brexit? Vail Symposium has a program to help clear up (some of) the confusion

Daily staff report
After a public vote in 2016, the United Kingdom voted by a narrow margin to leave the European Union. While Brexit hasn't officially happened yet, such a move will likely have impacts on the entire globe.
Special to the Daily


What: Brexit Bedlam: What It Means for Britain and the World

When: Monday, July 22, 2019. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program from 6-7:30 p.m.

Where: Vail Interfaith Chapel, Vail

Cost: Tickets are $25 prior to midnight on the day before the program; tickets are $35 after midnight and at the door.

More information: Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Ever since British voters opted to leave the European Union in June 2016, Brexit has been a topic of conversation, contemplation and contention in global politics. Now, after three years and two missed deadlines to secede, there is still no Brexit deal nor certainty about the way ahead. Today, at Vail Interfaith Chapel, Vail Symposium will bring Amanda Sloat — a Robert Bosch senior fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. government employee — for an in-depth discussion of Brexit.

“Brexit is a major topic of discussion when discussing global politics,” said Kris Sabel, executive director for the Vail Symposium. “However, there is still so much that’s up in the air, especially with the new Halloween 2019 deadline. We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Sloat to discuss this constantly changing situation and help shed some light on the impending impacts to the U.S. and the world.”

During the program, Sloat will review the history of these Brexit debates, explain where things currently stand and discuss what these events mean for Britain’s future relations with the EU and U.S.

As a lead-up to the program, here’s what you need to know about Brexit, compiled from a guide from the BBC.

What is Brexit?

Brexit is short for “British exit” and is the word people use to talk about the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.

What is the EU?

The EU is a political and economic union of 28 countries that trade with each other and allow citizens to move easily between countries to live and work. The UK joined the EU, then known as the EEC (European Economic Community), in 1973.

Why is the UK leaving?

A public vote was held on June 23, 2016 when voters were asked just one question – whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. The Leave side won 52% to 48% – 17.4m votes to 16.1m – but the exit didn’t happen straight away. It was due to take place on March 29, 2019, but the departure date has been delayed.

What has happened so far?

The 2016 vote was just the start. Since then, negotiations have been taking place between the UK and the other EU countries. The discussions have been mainly over the “divorce” deal, which sets out exactly how the UK leaves – not what will happen afterwards.

The UK and the EU reached agreement on a deal in November 2018, but the deal also has to be approved by British Ministers of Parliament (MP) before taking effect. Parliament has voted against it three times. As MPs did not approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, the she was forced to ask other EU leaders to delay Brexit.

The new deadline is October 31, 2019. However, the UK can leave before then if the prime minister can somehow get her deal approved by Parliament.

If the Bill passes, Brexit could happen before the October 31 deadline.

If the Bill fails, then the way forward is totally unclear, though senior politicians have warned it would lead to either leaving the EU without a deal, or Brexit being canceled entirely.

About the speakers

Amanda Sloat, Ph.D. is a Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. She is also a fellow with the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. She previously served in the U.S. government for nearly a decade. She was most recently deputy assistant secretary for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs at the State Department. She also served as senior advisor to the White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf region, as well as senior professional staff on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Prior to her government service, Sloat was a senior program officer with the National Democratic Institute and post-doctoral research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast. She holds a doctorate in politics from the University of Edinburgh and a bachelor’s in political theory from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

Moderator professor Joseph Jupille is currently an associate professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was the founding director of the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Colorado. He is a specialist in the European Union.

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